The best wines tend to be immediately recognisable, and impossible to imitate. That's certainly true of Chablis, an iconic appellation in northern Bourgogne that's become one of the world's best-loved winemaking regions, and one whose style is evoked by wines all over the world, but never outdone.

But that doesn't mean that all Chablis wines taste the same, or that all of the wines within its four sub-regions are made in the exact same style. Far from it: while all Chablis wines are made with 100% chardonnay, and all in their own way carry the hallmarks of the region's terroir – most notably its famed minerality – there's a huge amount of diversity and character to be found across its Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru appellations, its different winemakers, and even between its named plots, or Climats.

Most Chablis is aged in stainless steel vats, to preserve the character of the cool-Climate chardonnay grapes and that delicious, moreish minerality, but a small proportion of Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru wines are aged in oak, meaning they're a beautiful choice for those who love white Burgundy.

Chablis has always made wines that pair beautifully with food. A Petit Chablis served up with salty snacks makes for a perfect a pre-dinner drink, while a fresh Chablis perfectly partnered with a sumptuous poached salmon, or an all-out special celebration with a fabulous Chablis Grand Cru – each Chablis appellation has something different to offer the classic Christmas celebrations and dining.

However, for something a little different, spice things up this Christmas and partner Chablis up with some flavoursome Persian or Indian cuisine. Curry is now often named the most popular dish in the UK with top-quality curry-houses, takeaways or street-food stalls found across the country. Select a wine to match the complexity of flavours found in Indian food such as a Chablis Premier Cru: a dish like prawn curry is the perfect partner to an aged Chablis Premier Cru. A Premier Cru made from grapes from the Fourchaume Climat in particular, with its dense mineral structure and subtle fruity notes, would provide an ideally balanced match with the fruity and nutty aromas of the dish.

Chablis Wines paired with Indian food

Chablis wines are both powerful and subtle so are easily adapted to the sweet and spicy flavours found in more exotic cuisines. Persian dishes are full of flavour with spices such as turmeric, saffron and cinnamon combined with slow cooked vegetables and meat to provide rich and warming meals. With those dishes often incorporating fresh herbs and lemon, they provide the chance to balance those citrus and aromatic flavours with a crisp Chablis or Petit Chablis, whose salty or oily notes enhance the dishes’ flavours without overpowering them.

Whichever dish you go for, there's no better time than the festive season to discover the diversity, elegance and subtle power of this truly iconic region's wines

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